Dandy

related topics
{woman, child, man}
{son, year, death}
{theory, work, human}
{@card@, make, design}
{language, word, form}
{church, century, christian}
{style, bgcolor, rowspan}
{food, make, wine}
{school, student, university}
{rate, high, increase}

A dandy[1] (also known as a beau or gallant[2]) is a man who places particular importance upon physical appearance, refined language, and leisurely hobbies, pursued with the appearance of nonchalance in a cult of Self.[3] Historically, especially in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain, a dandy, who was self-made, often strove to imitate an aristocratic lifestyle despite coming from a middle-class background.

Though previous manifestations, of Alcibiades, and of the petit-maître and the muscadin have been noted by John C. Prevost,[4] the modern practice of dandyism first appeared in the revolutionary 1790s, both in London and in Paris. The dandy cultivated skeptical reserve, yet to such extremes that the novelist George Meredith, himself no dandy, once defined "cynicism" as "intellectual dandyism"; nevertheless, the Scarlet Pimpernel is one of the great dandies of literature. Some took a more benign view; Thomas Carlyle in his book Sartor Resartus, wrote that a dandy was no more than "a clothes-wearing man". Honoré de Balzac introduced the perfectly worldly and unmoved Henri de Marsay in La fille aux yeux d'or (1835), a part of La Comédie Humaine, who fulfills at first the model of a perfect dandy, until an obsessive love-pursuit unravels him in passionate and murderous jealousy.

Charles Baudelaire, in the later, "metaphysical" phase of dandyism[5] defined the dandy as one who elevates æsthetics to a living religion,[6] that the dandy's mere existence reproaches the responsible citizen of the middle class: "Dandyism in certain respects comes close to spirituality and to stoicism" and "These beings have no other status, but that of cultivating the idea of beauty in their own persons, of satisfying their passions, of feeling and thinking .... Contrary to what many thoughtless people seem to believe, dandyism is not even an excessive delight in clothes and material elegance. For the perfect dandy, these things are no more than the symbol of the aristocratic superiority of his mind."

The linkage of clothing with political protest had become a particularly English characteristic during the 18th century.[7] Given these connotations, dandyism can be seen as a political protestation against the rise of levelling egalitarian principles, often including nostalgic adherence to feudal or pre-industrial values, such as the ideals of "the perfect gentleman" or "the autonomous aristocrat", though paradoxically, the dandy required an audience, as Susann Schmid observed in examining the "successfully marketed lives" of Oscar Wilde and Lord Byron, who exemplify the dandy's roles in the public sphere, both as writers and as personae providing sources of gossip and scandal.[8]

Full article ▸

related documents
Patrilineality
Child time-out
The Book of the City of Ladies
Father
Indigo children
Internet friendship
Flirting
Richard von Krafft-Ebing
Sexology
Effie Gray
Elimination communication
Victorian era
National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality
Simone de Beauvoir
Etiquette
Hymen
Top (BDSM)
Misandry
Generation
Inheritance
Fag hag
Kiss
Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
Niccolò Machiavelli
Feminazi
Generation gap
Eric Hobsbawm
Ms.
Herbert Marcuse
Ecofeminism